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S334-CH1Y f COD

HavinQ friends in the hobby is pretty much what makes this whole car thing fun. Sure, cruising
d or muscle car is great for a while, but it gets a little old when you don't have your pals around to
your hot ro
share the drive with. In golf terms, it would be like getting a hole-in-one with no one else there to witness the
ball go in the cup. It would still be pretty cool, but not nearly as much as having three of your buds there to
share the moment. Besides, without a witness, my friends wouldn't believe my hole-in-one story anyway.

So, getting back to our car hobby; this were even quite a few folks who used NSRA's biggest event made me realize
past August I hung out with thousands the Street Rod Nationals as a meeting that this hobby is not always about who
of hot rodders and muscle car enthusiasts place to host family get-togethers. Once has the best autocross time or quickest
at the 50th Annual NSRA Street Rod 1 saw the spread of food laid out by the elapsed time on the dragstrip-it's
Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky, who Adams family I was tempted to claim also about like-minded folks getting
were responsible for bringing out about my kinship as a long-lost cousin from together after a long work week to do a
14,000 classic rides (street rods, hot SoCal, but I'm afraid my West Coast little relaxing in a laid-back automotive
rods, muscle cars, customs, restomods, accent would have been a dead giveaway environment. It's kind of like a weekend
and everything in between), and none that I was not a family member, but a camping trip, only driving your
of these people were hanging out by total stranger just trying to get some vintage ride there instead of a massive
themselves. free home-cooked grub. But I have to motorhome.
This is the NSRA's largest event, say, the folks who came out to this car So, at next year's Street Rod Nationals
which runs Thursday to Sunday, but show are very hospitable and would have my plan is to hit up the Adams' family
on Wednesday, many of the veteran welcomed anyone who stopped by for a (if I can get up the nerve) for some good
attendees sent a "worker bee" on a beverage and some car conversation. This ol' Midwest home cooking and a cold
reconnaissance mission to stake out community-like spirit is the attraction one. I ' m pretty sure these nice folks
their parking spots for the upcoming that brings thousands of classic car would have no problem welcoming in
weekend. There were rows upon rows people together and keeps car shows like their long-lost cousin from Southern
of EZ-Ups along with banners and signs this going strong. California. I mean, we have a lot of
featuring logos and custom artwork Generally, I'm not the type to hit up catching up to do.
announcing the name of the car clubs, car shows and sit around in a outdoor You in?
which took up a good amount of the rocking chair to shoot the breeze with
�Ke-ntucky Expo Center's real estate. The:t:e other car owners, but having attended


3,500+ HP,
3.58@ 206 on
Drag Radials
Network Content Director Douglas Glad
Network Director, Street Rod & Brian Brennan
Super Chevy Groups

Editor Nick Licata

Managing Editor Bill Klein
Group Tech Editor Jim Smart
Feature Editor Taylor Kempkes
Contributing Editors Christian Arriero
Bruce Biegler

Barry Kluczyk
Jason Lubken
John Machaqueiro
Steve Magnante
Ro McGonegal
Jeff Smith


Design Director Markas Platt
Art Director Danilo Silverio



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-Street kits include 4340 forged street crank - Competition kits include 4340 forged competition

(good to 750hp), ProSeries 7/16" 1-Beam rods crank (good to 1 OOOhp). ProSport 7/16" H-Beam
Glenda R. Elam (626) 695-5950 with 8740 bolts, forged pistons, premium rods with 8740 bolts, premium forged pistons,
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-Sliders included
- Micro-adjustable incline & recline
-Seat back quick release
- Fiberglass back
- Injection-molded foam
-Suspension straps for support
& comfort
-Accommodates 5-point harness
-:- TEXT & PHOTOS: Bruce Biegler

Comp Star's
*Within NHRA drag racing, the
last name Aragona is most commonly
associated with Competition
Eliminator. The father-and-son
team of Frank and Frank Jr., (based
out of New Jersey) has amassed
a serious career record, including
topping double-digit N H RA national
event wins and claiming two NHRA
world championship titles (2007
and 201 8). Since 2 0 1 7 , the team
has also been dabbling within
NHRA Stock Eliminator after they
acquired a '69 Camaro. The Camaro
received updates to the engine Gibtec pistons, Bullet Cams somewhat of a secondary focus to
and transmission and became camshaft, Jesel rockers, and Callies their Competition Eliminator dragster,
highly competitive in A/SA trim. It crankshaft. Sepanek Transmissions Frank has two class elimination
features a 396ci big-block (Martino maintains the Scott McClay trophies versus some of the best
Race Engines) with all of the best Engineering GM Metric 200, which A/SA cars in North America. This
parts available, including Manley employs a Coan Engineering torque expertly prepped Camaro has a best
connecting rods and valvesprings, converter. Despite the Camaro being time of 1 0.08 at 1 30 mph.


Father/Daughter Effor··t
*Kelly Sperry and her father, Dick, have
a great time together while competing with
their super-clean Super Street (1 0.90 index)
1 964 Chevy Nova. Based out of Fort Wayne,
Indiana, Kelly took over driving about 1 5
years ago, succeeding Dick, who raced
it successfully for many years, including
to the 1 975 I H RA Super Stock points
championship. This timeless little Nova,
which features a 406ci small-block and a
Powerglide transmission, tips the scales at
3,000 pounds. Kelly's bi·ggest scores driving
it would likely be the nice $5,000 she got as
the Super Pro winner and also laying claim
to a "Queen of the Track" title at her home
track, Bunker Hill Drag Strip. While the car
is d ialed toward the 1 0.90 index target,
unleashed it has a best time of 1 0.24. While
Dick is retired and enjoys that life, Kelly
works full-time as a benefits and payroll
specialist at Steel Dynamics between events.




That gift launched the start him his first set of drag s licks. The about $5 an hour back then, s o to
of Terry 's highly successful drag Camaro survived competing in Super afford racing my buddy and I started
racing career. Over the next 12 y ears Stock, AjSM, BjSM, and CjSM before working on cars on the s ide,'' Terry
he would hit every major track becoming a s eriously fas t (for the said. The extra work s cored him
throughout the Midwes t. He raced time) s treet car. H is best time was parts like a 6-71 blower, a Doug Nash
nearly every weekend. His then 10.00 at 143 mp h . . . pretty cool for five-speed, and one of the first all­
girlfriend, now wife, Dina, bought a 25-y ear-old kid. "I was making chromoly rollcages.

Owner: Terry Schwartz, Lincoln, Nebraska
Vehicle: 1968 Camara

Engine •Exhaust: AFCO Dynatech headers, 4-inch Wheels & Tires

•Type: LSX 376-815 stainless Borla mufflers, 4- to 4 1 /2-inch •Wheels: Center Line 15x4 front, 15x12 rear
•Displacement: 376 ci (6.2L) stainless exhaust system completed by •Tires: MT Sportsman 26x7.50 front, MT ET
•Compression Ratio: 9.0:1 owner Street R 32x17.50 rear
•Bore: 4.070 inches •Ancillaries: Summit Racing alternator,
•Stroke: 3.622 inches Meziere electric water pump, Moroso
•Upholstery: Phoenix
•Cylinder Heads: Aluminum LSX six-bolt vacuum pump
• Material: Aircraft leather
• Rotating Assembly: LSX forged steel •Output (at the crank): 800+ hp at 6,000
•Seats: Fiberglass Jaz
crankshaft with extra keyway, Oliver steel rpm, 800 lb-ft
•Steering: Stock
connecting rods, Ross pistons
•Valvetrain: BTR .660-inch Lift Platinum
Drivetrain •Shifter: G-Force
•Transmission: TREMEC 3650, Mcleod •Dash: Holley Glass
springs, LSX rockers with trunnion kit,
RXT clutch and flywheel •Instrumentation: Holley EFI Digital Dash
Camp Cams titanium retainers and
•Rear Axle: Dana 60, Richmond 4.88 gears, •Audio: LSX 376-815/supercharger whine
Strange spool and axles •HVAC: N/A
•Camshaft: BTR roller (0.615/0.596-inch
lift, 290/305-deg. duration at 0.050) Chassis Exterior
•Induction: The Blower Shop 8-71 •Front Suspension: AFCO coilovers and •Paint By: Dalton
supercharger (15 psi) 1:1, Rootz fuel double-adjustable shocks, Wilwood spindles •Paint: PPG Classic White
injection, 1601b injectors •Rear Suspension: Homebuilt Panhard bar, •Hood: Moroso fiberglass
•Ignition: Holley Dominator EFI ECU, Hyperco springs, AFCO double-adjustable •Grille: Stock
MSD wires coilover shocks, four-link oBumpers: Moroso, Harwood fiberglass
•Brakes: Wilwood, front and rear




The second Camara came into the

picture a few years later. The sentiment
was, they were bought together so
they should stay together. In 1983,
Terry took ownership and made a few
tweaks. In the spirit of the '80s, Terry
didn't stray far from his roots. "I think
I paid about $400 for it at the time. It
was a numbers-matching four-speed,
I narrowed the 12-bolt rearend, it had
4.11s bolted to a Moroso carrier, 11.5
pistons under World heads, a solid
lifter cam, roller rockers, stud girdles,
Victor Jr. intake, and a 250 hit of spray.
It has gone 11. 50s on street tires," Terry
remembers. It's a pure time machine.



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By 1985, Terry hung up his racing construct over 600 schools for those in
suit, put both cars in storage and shut need. "When you see people fighting
the garage. He shifted gears and began to survive, just happy to have food and
raising his two daughters, Terra and air to breathe, it really puts things into
Sheree. Terry's other mission in life perspective," Terry said.
is a testament to his character. Once In 2009, Terry received shocking
you shake hands, you don't forget news. After a strenuous series of
Terry. He's genuine, truly humble, testing, blood draws, body scans, and
and extremely gracious. Now retired, X-rays, his doctor told him he had
much of his previous career involved terminal cancer that had spread to his
non-profit mission trips. He lived in bones. "When you're given a timeline
Africa for over a year, made routine to live, you create something called a
visits to Peru, Cuba, Ghana, Honduras, bucket list. At that time in my life, it
the list goes on and on. Terry helped was such a struggle to get out of bed.


My Camaros gave me a reason," Terry friends I hadn't seen since high school
said. He was dealt a hand, the hardest call up and say, 'Hey, remember me?
kind of hand, he took it with his chin Can I come help you in the garage?' It
high and he's making the best of it. took a lot of great friends pitching in
His two Camaros eventually came to make these builds happen," Terry
out of storage. This time around the said. Within six months he had his
goal was to re-create his old street car, blown Camara back on the tracks.
saving the old-school look, but with Already caged, channeled 4 inches,
much newer tech. Terry called on a running a four-link and a narrowed
few of his old friends for help. "I had Dana 60, he dropped in a blown


LSX 376-BlS bolted to a TREMEC netted a 9.93 at 139 mph. can honestly say over the past few
five-speed. Both cars received Global Whether you build them, race years these Camaros and the racing
West upper control arms, coilover them, or it's late nights in the garage, community have been one of the best
front shocks, Wilwood discs and the stories we create survive much parts of my life. The adrenaline rush
master cylinders, and polyurethane longer than we do. The relationships is the best medicine in the world for
bushings throughout. A trip to the we build and the experiences we cancer. It keeps me going every day,"
strip with the LSX car for a test hit share are beyond comparison. "I Terry finished. CHP


- ..1

= ..

J JTECH CHECK •Exhaust: Flowmaster Delta Flow mufflers, Wheels & Tires
2 1 /2-inch steel piping •Wheels: Center Line 15x4 front, 15x10 rear
Owner: Terry Schwartz, Lincoln, Nebraska
•Ancillaries: Moroso aluminum water pump, •Tires: MT Sportsman 26x7.50 front,
Vehicle: 1968 Camaro
Power Sport alternator Sportsman Pro 28x12.50 rear
Engine •Output (at the crank): 425+ hp at 7,200 rpm
•Type: 1968 Chevy 327 small-block Interior
•Displacement: 332 ci
Drivetrain •Upholstery: Stock
• Transmission: Muncie M21, Mcleod clutch • Material: Original black vinyl
•Compression Ratio: 11.5:1
and flywheel •Seats: Stock
•Bore: 4.030 inches
•Rear Axle: 12-bolt, Richmond 4.11 gears, •Steer ing: Stock
•Stroke: 3.250 inches
Moroso Brute Strength differential, Strange •Shifter: Hurst
•Cylinder Heads: Iron World Products
axles •Dash: Stock
•Rotating Assembly: Steel crank, Eagle
•Instrumentation: AutoMeter
steel rods Chassis
•Valvetrain: Comp valvesprings, Trick •Audio: Blaupunkt Boston cassette deck
•Front Suspension: Global West control
titanium retainers, Crane roller rockers with •HVAC: N/A
arms; stock spindles; aluminum, adjustable
stud girdle QA1 shocks; Moroso springs Exterior
•Camshaft: General Kinetics solid lifter • Rear Suspension: Homebuilt leaf spring •Paint By: A buddy
(0.615/0.615-inch lift; 304/312-deg. bars, Gabriel HiJacker shocks, homemade •Paint: PPG Classic White
duration at 0.050; 108-deg. LSA) slapper bars •Hood: GM
•Induction: Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake, •Brakes: Wilwood, front and rear •Grille: GM
Holley 750-cfm carb
•Bumpers: Stock
•Power-Adder: NOS Cheater 250hp shot
•Ignition: MSD


Chevrolet Performance
chevrolet. com/performance

An exclusive inside look at a specialized design

developed to support high boost with high strength

-:-TEXT: Barry Kluczyk I PHOTOS: Barry Kluczyk AND G eneral Motors

pparently, there is no ceiling when it comes LS performance. Just when it Over the years, Chevrolet
seems an insurmountable threshold of horsepower, speed, or low e.t. has Performance has revised the stout
been achieved, the next racer is able to shove another few pounds of boost LSX cylinder block to offer the greater
through a rev-happy, deep-breathing LS/LSX-based engine and move the needle strength required to support high­
that much further. boost racing engine applications,
As engine builders and racers continue to explore the figurative boundaries and now the engineers have turned
of the LS engine family's capability, they've encountered the l iteral barriers of their attention to the cylinder heads.
components pushed beyond their original design parameters. It's that age-old They've developed a new casting that's
racing dichotomy at work: You'll never find the limit if you don't push beyond it. based on the proven LSX-LS7 head,


but it's designed and manufactured
to support the big power levels racers
are bumping up to the starting line with
these days.
It officially becomes part of the 2020
COPO 350 production racing engine
offered in the COPO Camara program,
but it's also available separately for
builders who want to use a set on their
custom engine.
Chevy High Performance got an
exclusive look at the head before its
introduction at the 201 9 SEMA Show
and we spoke with COPO Program
Manager Tom Wysocki and Alin
Dragoiu, the design release engineer,
about why it was developed.
"Performance levels have increased
dramatically in the 1 0 years since we
originally introduced the LSX series of
01 I The LSX-SC
cylinder head
cylinder heads, and the new LSX-SC
replaces the existing
head is designed to match the power LSX-LS7-based cylinder
builders are getting from their LS head on the COPO 350
engines today," says Wysocki. "It has SC supercharged engine,
to be strong for the boost and cylinder and is offered as a
pressures that were unheard of only a stand-alone part designed
few years ago." for high-boost, forced­
induction racing engines.

02 I Derived from the

existing LSX-LS7 cylinder
head, the new LSX-SC has
the same port configuration
but is manufactured with
a low-pressure casting
method rather than a
conventional gravity-feed
method, for a denser, more
solid casting.

03 I Additionally, Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIPing) heats the casting to enable the aluminum material to plasticize and allow air pockets and other imperfections to fill
in and virtually eliminate porosity.


:chevrolet Performance's New LSX-SC Cylinder Head
04 I Like other LSX heads, the
LSX-SC employs six bolts per
cylinder, but look closely and you'll
see more material cast around the
deck, where it has been added
strategically to enhance strength and
resist lifting under extreme cylinder
pressure. The deck thickness has
been increased to 0.750-inch.

OS Two versions of the head are available: as-cast (PN 19417408) and CNC-ported, with the CNC version offered bare (PN 1941 7887) and assembled (PN
1941 7888). Note the difference in the un-machined ports of the as-cast head (shown), with the fully machined ports seen in the previous photos.

Notably, the LSX-SC head doesn't • A low-pressure casting is used

offer a radical new port design or instead of the conventional gravity-
repositioned valve angles or anything feed method -for the T356 aluminum
like that. In fact, it's essentially a redo material-for denser material properties.
of the existing LSX-LS7 rectangular­ • The head is subjected to Hot

port head, but with a number of Isostatic Pressing, also known as

manufacturing changes that increase "HIPing," to enhance the casting's
overall strength and support greater density and significantly reduce
head-clamping capability. porosity.
The same sophisticated computer • The deck thickness increases from

modeling analysis tools used to design 0.650-inch to 0. 750-inch.

production-vehicle components were • The exhaust face thickness

used on the redesign, with the focus increases from 0.177-inch to

on high-stress areas and where they 0.300-inch.
06 I The already cavernous LS7 port design is an could be modified to increase strength • The head retains the signature LSX
excellent starting point. From the factory, the CNC­
in critical areas-all without adding six-bolt head-clamping pattern.
machined intake port volume is 277cc, while the
unnecessary material that would also Retaining the existing LS7 port
machined exhaust port volume is 99cc. But thanks
to a reduced-size water jacket, there's more meat likewise increase the head's weight. design was essential to help ensure
around the ports for builders to experiment with for Here's a quick rundown on the new class rules compliance for Stock
their own porting. head's important features: Eliminator competition, as it was


08 I The combustion chamber design is the same as the proven LS7, with a
chamber volume of 68cc in the CNC-ported version. The CNC head also includes
installed valve seats (45 degrees intake/50 degrees exhaust) and valveguides.
The as-cast head does not.
07 I With its carryover LS7 port design, any
LS7-based intake manifold will bolt right up to
the new heads.

09 I The CNC-ported heads are designed for

the standard-size 2.20-inch intake and 1 .61 -
inch exhaust valves, but there's plenty of room
to machine for larger valves. And the valves
are held at the same 1 2-degree angles as the
existing LSX-LS7 head.

developed first and foremost for the

COPO program. Besides all that,
the LS7 port was already a good­
flowing design and compatibility
with existing LS/LSX architecture
was important to save everyone­
including Chevrolet Performance­
from having to develop new intake
manifolds and other supporting
"With the high boost levels
this head is designed for, the
turbocharger or supercharger does
essentially all of the work when it
comes to airflow," said Dragoiu. "We
took an already proven, high-flow
port design and concentrated on
making its surrounding casting as
strong as possible."
11utomotive products
In short, it's all designed to
maximize the head's strength in
order to minimize the engine damage
that can result if the head begins to
lift under extremely high boost and
cylinder pressures-or the damage
that can occur when builders clamp
down too hard on the head bolts in
order to prevent the heads from lifting. Made In

By Application By Size By Engine USA

:chevrolet Performance's New LSX-SC Cylinder Head

WORTHY TRADE·OFF It's a worthy trade-off for a drag the new head in as-cast and
There's one more important thing racing engine, where maximum CNC-ported versions, with the
to note about the head design. The airflow is far more important than the as-cast version (PN 1 941 7408)
water passages are a I ittle smaller comparatively limited time required for delivered bare, un-machined,
than the current LSX-LS7. That was water circulation on the track. and with the valve seats and
accomplished by cutting down the "It's designed for a racing engine valveguides uninstalled. With the
top of the water jacket to increase the making upwards of 1 ,400 horsepower or CNC version, it's offered in a bare
head's overall strength-but the bonus more with something like 25 pounds of model (PN 1 941 7887), with the
is about 3mm more material around the boost," he says. "The existing LSX-LS7 seats and guides installed, and in an
intake and exhaust ports. head and other Chevrolet Performance assembled model (PN 1 941 7888),
"It gives the builder significantly more heads are more than capable for street with 2.20/1 .61-inch valves and a set
room to play with when porting the use. The LSX-SC head is optimized for of beehive valvesprings installed.
heads," says Dragoiu. "It's a like a blank the strip."
canvas, with more room to experiment." Chevrolet Performance will offer LOW-PRESSURE CASTING
-------. The low-pressure casting
method and Hot Isostatic Pressing
(HIP) procedure contribute to the
LSX-SC's enhanced mechanical
properties. Along with the thicker
deck surface, they contribute to the
head's increased strength under
maximum load.
Low-pressure casting uses
air pressure to force the molten
aluminum upward into a closed-die
cavity. The result is a denser, more
solid casting that's better suited to
the high-pressure environment of a
big-boost racing engine.
As for the "HI Ping" procedure, it
involves placing the head casting in
a heated, high-pressure container
and subjecting it to isostatic
gas pressure. The heat and gas
pressure temporarily plasticize the
aluminum alloy of the head, allowing
voids and other irregularities in
the casting to collapse or fill in,
essentially eliminating air pockets
and other contributors to porosity,
further enhancing the casting's

Utilizes Holley EFI's impressive self-learning fuel strategies! solidity and density.

GM Drive-By-Wire and Trans Control [X Max Only) If those procedures sound

Built-in 1bar MAP Sensor-can be disabled and an external specialized, they are. It is the
LS MAP Sensor utilized for boosted applications
only LS/LSX head in Chevrolet

4 Inputs - 12v, Ground, 5v, and Frequency, for additional pressure
sensors, or activation triggers for nitrous activation, trans brake, etc. Performance's portfolio to undergo

4 Outputs - Ground, PWM - for accessories such as fans, them during the manufacturing
boost control, nitrous control, lAC Kit, & More process. "Specialized" can also be

Boost Control - Boost vs Time, Boost vs Gear, Boost vs RPM,
a code word for "expensive," and
Boost vs Speed, Boost Safeties

Nitrous Control - Single Channel of Wet or Dry, Progressive or Non, while pricing wasn't yet available
Rich/Lean Safeties, & target Closed Loop AFR during our early look at the head, it

Diagnostic LEO's all for quick identification of potential system issues was clear that a set, either as-cast or
CNC-ported, would cost more than
a "regular" set of LSX-LS7 heads.
"There's no way around it," says
Wysocki. "The procedures add
time and cost to the manufacturing
• Convert your muscle car's process, but they eliminate
factory tank to ER through
compromise to offer exceptional
the factory sending unit hole!

Internally regulated strength and assurance for the
Returnless design! upper echelon of performance
: I I
Again, these aren't the parts you
want for a head-and-cam swap
on your fifth-gen Camara street
machine, but if you plan on hanging
10 I A couple of things to note here; the valve 12 I Any LSX-compatible head gasket will work
pockets are machined to 37mm, but there's room with the LSX-SC head, but Chevrolet Performance is
to go bigger and the head is designed for LS7"'type working on a high-end gasket that deals better with
rocker arms and bolts, but it can be machined for 11 I The assembled CNC head includes valves and head lift under extreme cylinder pressures. It will be
shaft-style rockers. a set of beehive springs installed. out shortly.

• •

13 I Designed to hold its place under boost pressures of more than 25 psi, the LSX-SC head advances LS performance capability with exceptional strength.

a ProCharger F-30-1 02 blower on the other LSX applications would work, chew on regarding the new LSX-SC
front of an LSX engine and pumping but that a set of specialized head head itself; and we applaud Chevrolet
30+ pounds of boost down its gullet in gaskets is in the works for use with Performance for matching advances
the quest for Outlaw supremacy, you're the new heads. They're designed to in performance capability with parts
shopping in this aisle. better accommodate the high cylinder strong enough to support it.
pressures that come with high boost, There's no end in sight to LS
WHAT ABOUT HEAD but they weren't ready at the time we performance and new parts like this
GASKETS? produced the story. You'll hear about one will only fuel the drive to break
Tom Wysocki told us existing them shortly. new barriers- all without breaking their
high-performance gaskets used with In the meantime, there's much to cylinder heads. CHP


Eddie Motorsports
Trick Flow Specialties

A compact serpentine accessory drive system with

sinister looks and excellent performance

-:-TEXT & PHOTOS: Nick Licata

s far as front accessory drive systems for LS engines go, there are plenty The engine carries a somewhat
of aftermarket systems to choose from to fit your needs, and for good dark and sinister look so we went
reason; the stock system is not super attractive and it's a bit bulky. With that with the Raven Series S-Drive
said, it will work fine for those who plan to keep their engine stock in the serpentine kit. It's a compact system
horsepower and looks department, but we here at Chevy High Performance that features all-black hardware,
aren't much for leaving anything stock. We prefer our engines upgraded to fasteners, and brackets, and includes
perform way better than stock and have them look good doing it. a spring-loaded tensioner and
We hit up the folks at Eddie Motorsports for an accessory drive system six-rib serpentine belt to run all of
for our 440hp 5.3L LS. Now, that's not a large number in today's world of our accessories. The brackets and
big-horsepower rides, but the car we'll be dropping this engine in is the pulleys are CNC-machined from
Chevy High Performance 1 962 Chevy Impala project car, which is more street high-quality aluminum, are made in
machine than a track beast. We wanted long-lasting performance with the the USA, and feature name-brand
idea of never having to worry about belt slippage when we decide to get on components to ensure great quality
it, and there is always the possibility of cranking up the power in this thing at and long-lasting performance.
some point, as well. The Eddie Motorsports S-Drive

01 I When we adopted our 5.3L LS,

the block and heads were painted
bright Chevy Orange, but we were
after a more sinister look and took
things in a darker direction. We
painted the block and heads gray and
we'll be using a black Holley intake
and dark-gray valve covers. No doubt
it will look great sitting in our 1962
Impala project.


02 I We went with
Eddie Motorsports' Raven
Series S-Drive serpentine
pulley kit as it will add
excellent performance 0 0
and look great on the 0 D.
front of our LS engine.
Note that this install can
be done with the engine
in the car, but being we
recently picked up our
engine from the dyno

,,,••••• �
shop, it made sense to
install the system with

the engine on a stand
to better illustrate the 03 I MotorTrend Tech Center Technician
process. •' 'J

Christian Arriero gets started by installing the Eddie
Motorsports-suppled damper using the black
hardware included in the Eddie Motorsports Raven
Series S-Drive serpentine pulley kit.

serpentine kit also includes an

aftermarket balancer to help keep
the accessories tighter and more
compact to the engine. Joe Rode
of Eddie Motorsports explains, "LS
engines are available with one of
three balancers, which means three
different belt lines, or paths. While
this design gives you more clearance
forward of the engine, there is
less clearance for the accessories
against the engine and cylinder 04 I After using an 8mm thread chaser on the
heads. Therefore, when using a block, it was time install the 8mm water pump
studs. With antiseize applied to the threads,
stock balancer, it is necessary to
leave 3 inches of stud sticking out on the three
mount the accessories outside the OS I The supplied water pump gaskets go on
passenger-side studs and 4 inches on the two
cylinder heads, making for a wide driver-side studs. each side like so.
and unattractive pulley kit." Joe
goes on, "Unlike the stock balancer,
aftermarket balancers do not have
a built-in pulley, but rather threaded
holes to accept a crank pulley. We
then include a pulley that is long
enough that the beltline of our kit is
far enough forward so you can tuck
the accessories inside the cylinder
heads, which creates a compact and
clean-looking system."
The Raven Series S-Drive
serpentine kit is offered in matte or
gloss black finish and is available for
Chevy small-block, big-block, and LS
engines. And if the dark nature of this
system isn't for you, Eddie also offers
kits in raw machined, highly polished,
as well as a variety of anodized and
Fusioncoat colors. High-performance
eight-rib systems are also available.
As with all Eddie Motorsports
pulley kits, one part number includes
everything necessary to get the front
of your engine looking stellar and
performing great.
Follow along as MotorTrend Tech
Center Technician Christian Arriero
takes us through the process of
installing the Eddie Motorsports
Raven Series S-Drive pulley system
on our 5.3L LS engine. CHP 06 I With the water pump in position, you can see the correct amount of stud sticking out on the driver side.


:Dark Web
071 The
rear alternator
bracket goes
over the two
studs. You can
fully tighten
these down
while being
careful not to
over torque.
Be sure to use
antiseize on the 08 I Next to go on are the 3/4-inch standoffs on
stud bolts. both the passenger and driver side of the water
pump. With antiseize on the studs, just hand-tighten
the standoffs for now.

09 I Now is a good time to install the thermostat and bolt on the supplied
housing with the two M6x16mm cap screws. 10 The rear A/C bracket goes on next. Feel free to fully tighten it at this point.


• Front Upper & Lower ToT�""'
Tubular™ Control Arms
Control Arms Feature Ball
Joints Specific to 1963-87 C10
• C-10 1963-72 Rear Trailing Arms
• Dual-Adjustable Coil-Overs
Independently Tune Ride Height,
Compression & Rebound Adjustments

• Spanner Wrench & Thrust

g· :
Bearing Kit
- FEATURE$: • Front Kits: 0"- 3" Drop
• Cast Iron Exhaust Manif<Jid:> � Rear Kits: 0"- 3" or 3" - 5" Drop
• Head Pipe Adapters 4" or More Rear Drop Requires C-Notch Kit fii:[IJ;'i?f):
w/ 02 Sensor Bung
• Engine Side Mount Adapters
• CNC-Bent & Laser-Cut Mounting
Brackets with Grade 8 Hardware
• Transmission Crossmember
• Fabricated Engine Perches

,..,. • F it RiteTM Engine Mount

� !�
Adapters SHOWN
• Oil Pan Kit*
• Mounting Hardware
REAR COIL-OVER KIT- W/0 LOWER TRAILING ARMS starting at s699Jkit !!J [!]
· ...

*C-10 TruckApplications Do Not Include Oil Pan Kits IIISTAU KI1S starting at$ :1

t/ ll
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engine placement for 700R4, 4L60E, • Keeps Perfect Alignment with the
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In rubber or PolyPIusrM
OE or Aftermarket Steering Column
Pads Transmissions
starting at 599!k it starong at 5 175Jkit • All Power Boxes Use Inverted Flare Hoses*


- starting at 5599/kit
11 I Before installing the water pump pulley, Chris used a dab of blue Loctite on
the four supplied cap screws. 12 l it's OK to fully tighten the water pump pulley at this time.

13 I Next to go on is the power steering bracket, which bolts on to the 14 I Slip on the power steering pump and fully tighten. Now is also the time to
3/4x1. 75-inch standoffs. "Yes" on using antiseize here, too. install the pressure fitting and hardline.

• 1.5" od x 0.120" Walled-Tubi

ng Construction
• Resists Torsional Twist Better than Square • 1" od x 0.156" Walled-Tubing Construction
Tube Versions • Adjustable End-Links
• Provides Maximum Ground Clearance • 3/16" Laser-Cut Mounting Brackets
• Resistance to Chassis Flex with Increased • More Ground Clearance with Front
Integrity & Rigidity of Chassis Mounts Forward-Slanted Approach Angle
• Includes All Mounting Hardware • Works with Mono & Multi-Leaf Applications

• Available in Black Powdercoated Finish • Includes All Mounting Hardware


NOVA & CAMARO starting at $ 1611
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!kit () (!If
Not for Convertible Vehicles
0 0

(FRONT 1955-57
SHOWN 500 Series ™ Power Steering Box
CHEVY TRUCK, + Complete 13" Front Big Brake Kit
TRI-FIVE & CAMARO + Complete 12" Rear Big Brake Kit
• Precision laser cut 3/8" leg + Chrome Master Cylinder &
allows for larger front tires Proportioning Valve Combo
&.J..:.:..c.A.;:..c:,..JIJ&...J.�c::::J r
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) •DUAL(;;J(;j
+ Totally Tubular™ Upper & Lower
Control Arms
Dual-Adjustable Front Coi l-Over
• Billet ends TIG welded to the center Conversion Kit ltDJIJS,TilBLE�
• Allows for more clearance around
+ Pro-Touring Front & Rear Sway Bars
the shock mounts + Complete Rear Suspension System
• For stock or aftermarket rear ends
with 3" axle tube
- -

REAR 1970-81
starting at$3,978/kit
:Dark Web

16 I The power steering pulley goes on next. Remember to dab a little Loctite
15 I Yours should look like this. If so, feel free to move on. on the capscrews and tighten.

17 I Christian then installed the alternator bracket to the standoffs and left
them finger tight before bolting on the Powermaster alternator with the two 18 I From there, Christian installed the crank pulley using the three 3/8-
M8x25mm capscrews and AN washers. With the alternator bolted in, now is a inch capscrews dabbed with Loctite. Tighten them up, but be careful not to
good time to tighten the two stand-offs that were finger-tightened earlier. over-torque.

19 I The NC compressor bracket goes on next using the capscrews with AN 20 I Coming down the home stretch, Christian installed the A/C compressor
washers. Don't tighten it all the way just yet. using the two M8x25mm capscrews.


21 I Follow that with the AIC compressor cover, then go back and fully tighten 22 I With the top plate of the compressor body removed, dab some mineral oil
the bracket. on the 0-rings (be careful not to move or damage them).

23 I Install the compressor manifold with the supplied head capscrews 24 I Now it's time to install the tensioner on the AIC bracket using the 3/8-
brushed with antiseize. 1 6x2 1/4-inch hex head bolt dabbed with Loctite.

26 I Here's the Eddie Motorsports Raven Series S-Drive system all bolted up
25 I Route the belt like we've illustrated here. Pulling the belt over the crank to our 5.3 LS. We still have some work to do on the car, but there is no doubt this
pulley last then use a breaker bar (not shown) to rotate the tensioner down to engine looks killer and we can't wait to get it between the fenders of our 1 962
install the belt then put on the aluminum tensioner cover. Impala project.


:Restoration Detour
sprayed in black. Otherwise it was punched it 0.030 over while the heads
complete with all the trim still in were treated to a full rebuild. "Keith
place. In terms of its overall condition, helped me pick out all the parts to
Steve notes, "We looked through it build the engine in my garage." The
and it didn't look as bad until we got body was still an unresolved issue so
it home and started poking around. a friend suggested that he check out
The subframe was rotted and that a guy that was working on his car.
did need to be replaced. We began to Impressed with what he saw, Steve cut
assess what needed to be fixed to make a deal with Darin Gallagher to tackle
it driveable. The more we looked, the the all the bodywork.

longer the list grew. With the engine Once Darin pulled back the paint, done at Darin's shop.
making a knocking noise, we did a the sins hidden underneath were After its three-year hiatus, the
compression reading and found two revealed. The Camaro needed of a set Camaro made jts way back to Steve's
cylinders were low. We discovered a of quarters, front and rear floorpans, garage for the reassembly process.
bent pushrod and a cracked piston fenders, trunk floor, inner and outer He leaned on his brother-in-law
when we pulled the heads." rockers, and parts of the firewall. The Charles Barbuto to give him a hand
With the engine out of the Camaro, goals at that point were to hang as with the reinstallation of the engine,
he recalls, "Keith and I spent the next much new sheetmetal as needed and transmission, and rear assembly,
few months tearing the car down to a do a faithful restoration. Progress on while Bob Fisher helped with the
bare shell in my garage." While that the car was slow but it eventually made front suspension and front brakes.
was taking place, he sent the block and it to the primer stage. At that point, Everything was moving along until
heads to Fonse Performance in Erial, Todd Griffiths came into the picture to work and life took over. The end result
New Jersey, for the machine work. lay down the BASF basecoatjclearcoat was the car sitting dormant for an
The block was in good shape so they Deepwater Blue paint, which was also entire year.


Having it parked in the garage he cut a deal with Justin Brunner, the rear. This also included a narrowed
without any movement became an the owner of Bent Metal Customs in Moser Engineering rearend, 3.73 gears,
issue. He explains, ''I kept coming Lansdale, Pennsylvania, to take on Eaton Truetrac limited-slip diff, and
home from work and seeing this shiny the rest of the work. Since the body Moser axles. It was a suggestion that
new car in the garage that I couldn't and engine were done, all the work Steve fully embraced, as well as the
use." That frustration grew to the needed would be under the skin. On addition of Baer six-piston calipers
point that he decided to have a shop the wish list was a four-link suspension mounted on 14-inch rotors at all four
finish the car. Steve points out, "When at the rear with a wider tire, along comers. The wheel and tire choice
I started looking for a shop, I kind of with a revised stock Camaro subframe. came down to a set of Forgeline ZX3P
knew what I wanted, and I was trying After some numbers crunching, Justin 18x9 wheels up front and 19xl2 at the
to go against that when I started the suggested that he should ditch the idea rear with Hankook Ventus Vl2 Evo2
restoration, so I finally did what I of the stock subframe and go with a 255/35 tires at the front and 325/30 at
really wanted: to build a Pro Touring Detroit Speed hydroformed subframe the rear.
muscle car." assembly up front and a pair of Detroit Another item on his list was a clean
After looking at a number of shops, Speed mini-tubs and their four-link at engine compartment with a smooth



1 ,000+ Stores!a_!o! !!,w_!!le_: !!_a�o_!r!i�t;2D,!I _ _ __ _ _ _ _ , : OVERs,ooo :




With Rapid Pump®
r nrunui HJ
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J • Super-Strong,
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1 • Weighs 78 lbs. , .-... .. 1!.- �� I Composite Plastic I
,' 1 Hook tor Hands·Free Operation
• Magnetic Base & 360" Swivel

: r.
� ·I�J, '
1 • 3·AAA Batteries (Included) 1

I 1
I • 144 Lumens I
I $18999 : � : SUPER POWERFUL LIGHT : 1
T830018Z I 1 ITEM 63878/63991
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I Valid through 2fl.5120 while supplies last. limn 1 FR EE GIFT per c11Siomer per day.

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ice means that the specilied comparison. which is an item with th e same or similar function. was
without original receipt. Valid through 2!25/20.
AI Hamor Freight Tools, the • compare to " pr
'Original coupon only. No use on prior purthases after 30 days from original purchase or advertised for sal e at or above the " Compare to" price by another nalional retailer in the U . S. within 111e past 90 days. Prices advertised by othe rs
may vary by location. No other meaning of " Compare to.. should be implied. For mor e Information . go to Harborfrelg ht.eom or see s1ore associate.
Restoration Detour

Owner: Stephen Pepe, Woolwich, New Jersey
Vehicle: 1 967 Camaro RS/SS

•Type: GM cast-iron small-block
•Displacement: 355 ci
•Compression Ratio: 1 0.0:1
•Bore: 4.030 inches
•Stroke: 3.480 inches
• Cylinder Heads: Stock 350 cast-iron
•Rotating Assembly: Stock crank, R&R
connecting rods, forged aluminum pistons
•Camshaft: Comp Cams solid roller
•Induction : Holley Sniper EFI, Edelbrock
Performer RPM Air-Gap intake, Billet
Specialties air cleaner
•Ignition: Holley Sniper EFI HyperSpark
distributor, ignition coil, and ignition box
• Exhaust: American Racing headers, 2.5-
inch tubing, Borla ProXS mufflers
• Radiator: Ron Davis aluminum
•Ancillaries: American Autowire engine
wiring harness, March Performance Pro­
Track I I serpentine kit
•Machine Work: Fonse Performance (Erial, NJ)
•Assembly: Keith Butler (Deptford, NJ)

•Transmission: TREMEC T K0-500,
Mcleod clutch
•Rear Axle: Moser Engineering, 3.73:1
gears, Eaton Truetrac limited-slip diff,
Moser axles

• Front Suspension: Detroit Speed
hydroformed subframe assembly, JRi
adjustable shocks
•Steering: Detroit Speed box
•Rear Suspension: Detroit Speed mini­
tubs, Detroit Speed with Panhard rod, JRi
adjustable shocks
•Brakes: Baer 14-inch rotors, six-piston
calipers, front and rear; Baer master

Wheels & Tires

•Wheels: Forgeline ZX3P 1 8x9 (6. 1 25-
firewall. That was actually one of the refurbished and re-covered. They redid inch backspace) front, 1 9x 1 2 (6-inch
strong selling points with him taking the seats, door panels, and dashpad in backspace) rear
the Camaro to Bent Metal Customs he red leather, and also ordered up some •Tires: Hankook Ventus V12 Evo2 255/35
front, 325/30 rear
saw what they were doing and liked new red carpet. While not noticeable,
the finish work. Since the engine was the Bent Metal crew did a great deal Interior
•Upholstery: Gillin Custom Design
already done, it was half the road of work modifying the fold-down rear
(Middletown, NY)
traveled under the hood, however, it seat as a result of the addition of the • Material: Red leather
did receive an upgrade with a switch mini-tubs. Beyond the addition of a •Seats: Stock (front), GM modified (rear)
to a Holley Sniper EFI unit mounted on Lokar shifter, an ididit tilt column, and •Steering: Forever Sharp steering wheel,
ididit column
an Edelbrock aluminum intake. Steve some Dakota Digital gauges, it's all very
•Shifter: Lokar Performance
had a 700-R4 installed in place of the stock looking. •Dash/Console: Stock
Powerglide, but that, too, was sent to After roughly eight months, the end •Instrumentation: Dakota Digital
a new home. Its replacement would be result is a car that looks deceptively •Audio: RetroSound head unit, Focal
6-inch speakers (front), Focal 6.5-inch
a TREMEC TKO-500 five-speed. The stock yet handles like a modern
speakers (rear)
exhaust consists of American Racing car. "Justin and the crew at Bent •HVAC: Vintage Air
headers mated to 2. 5-inch stainless Metal took the Camaro beyond my
steel pipes and Borla ProXS mufflers. A expectations," he declares. "They took •Body: Stock, bodywork by Darin
Vintage Air A/C unit was a must-have a dream and made it come true. I'm Gallagher, paint by Todd Griffiths, finished
under the hood. blown away with the result." For all by Bent Metal Customs
•Paint: BASF Deepwater Blue
Steve wanted to keep the interior you purists that are wondering where
•Hood: Stock, Ringbrothers hinges
red and as close to stock as possible all the original parts are, Steve has
so it was sent to Gillin Custom Design them tucked away just in case he ever
in Middletown, New York, to be decides to step back in time. CHP


• •

• • •

. .

� ? t:r!Im"J
[ � ,
�I. _. 234



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Summit Racing

Building the best-performing stroker

small-block is a balancing act

-:- TEXT & PHOTOS: Barry Kluczyk

n the Great Ideas Hall of Fame, the first builder to create the ubiquitous 383 inches versus 3.620 inches. That's
stroker combination is right up there with whoever invented s'mores and a nearly 7 percent increase, while
Philippe Kahn, the guy who stuffed a camera in a cell phone. the bore dimension is essentially
Along with the 33 additional cubic inches over a 350 engine, the 383's unchanged. The result is 401
complementing advantage is torque. The bore/stroke ratio of a stock, oversquare horsepower and 464 1b-ft of torque,
350, with its 4.000-inch bores and 3.480-inch stroke is 1 . 1 5: 1 . The 383 is still compared to 360 horses and 380 lb-ft
oversquare, with a larger bore dimension than the stroke, but it comes much for the 6.0-liter engine.
closer to square with an improved stroke ratio of 1 .07:1 , which enhances torque That's nearly 1 1 .5 percent greater
production. horsepower and 22 percent more
Let's take a look at another example for comparison: Chevrolet's new 6.6L torque for the 6.6L. It's important to
gas V-8, found in the latest heavy-duty trucks, versus the 6.0L engine it replaces. note that, thanks to direct injection,
Almost all of the 6.6L's greater displacement comes via a longer stroke: 3.860 the 6.6L has a higher compression of
• •

• •


- -

I -

... �.



• I

I l



02 I Although the 350 block is the foundation of the 383, it's logical to ask why
the larger displacement 400 simply wasn't built into more performance engines.
Its unique design features were the biggest factors, because the aftermarket
was set up to service small-blocks with the 350 main journal size, connecting
01 I The 383 small-block recipe is one almost every enthusiast knows: mix rod length, etc.; and because they were also comparatively rare, there simply
a 0.030-over 350 block with the 3.750-inch crankshaft from a 400 engine to wasn't much of a market for 400 performance parts. There was an urban myth
deliver the long-strong combination. By the way: The standard 4.000-inch bores about 400 overheating problems, too, which kept builders away, especially when
of the 350 plus the 3.750-inch stroke creates a 377-inch stroker. 350 cores were plentiful and cheap.

04 I When using
an authentic 400
crankshaft, the main
journals must be
cut down from the
production 2.65 inches
to the 350's 2.45-
inch specification.
Aftermarket crankshafts
for the 383 conversion
come with the journals
already sized for the
350 block. The 400's
03 I Internal clearance is an issue with a long­ larger mains also make
stroke small-block and notching the bottom of the its block unique and
cylinders and often the pan rail is necessary to incompatible with other
provide adequate room for the connecting rods. small-block cranks.
Care must be taken to grind away only the material
necessary for adequate clearance because the
water jacket is right below the surface.

1 0.8:1 versus the 6.0L's 9.4:1 , but it all that; and that's what we're here to their combinations, because they were
primarily enhances horsepower. It's the discuss. already matched with the crankshaft
significant increase in stroke that really and its larger journal, but quickly found
amplifies the torque output. STROKER CHALLENGES it created excessive side-loading on the
In fact, the stroke ratio for the 6.6L The challenges for building a strong cylinders with the 350 block's smaller
is 1 .05: 1 , which is on par with the 383 are due, mostly, to the geometry bores (a 400 has 4.1 25-inch bores).
383. So, that original builder was on of the rotating assembly and the As the pistons moved up, the
to something with that first stroked parameters of the cylinder block. geometry of the comparatively long
small-block. All production small-block castings stroke/short rods (the rod/stroke ratio)
And at a glance, building the 383 have a 9.025-inch deck height, which was pushing them too hard against the
seems almost as simple as mashing a means the compression height for the cylinder wall, creating performance­
toasted marshmallow and a piece of pistons-the distance between the robbing friction that affected
chocolate between a couple of graham wristpin centerline and the flat portion performance and the engine's high-rpm
crackers. A 0.030-over 350 block, plus of the top of the piston- is a critical capability. Keep in mind that the 350
the 3.750-inch stroke from a 400 small­ factor. It determines how the piston fits engine had a shorter stroke than the
block (versus the 350's 3.480-inch relative to the deck surface at the top of 400, but a longer connecting rod.
stroke} equals 383 cubic inches. Well the stroke. So, the next logical move was to use
. . . the exact displacement is about half To maintain the same compression the longer 5.700-inch rods from other
a cube shy of 383 inches, but it's been height for the 400 small-block as small-block combinations, including
rounded up for decades. the 350 engine, Chevrolet used a the 350. That required machining the
Simple, right? Not exactly. Because shorter, 5.565-inch connecting rod 400 crank journals to accept them,
of the unique design and production length. All other small-block variants and it also required custom pistons
features of the 400, dropping its used 5.700-inch-long rods. Early 383 with a shorter compression height.
crankshaft into a 350 ain't as easy as builders logically tried the 400 rods in That relieved much of the side-loading


:383 The Right Way

06 I Internally balanced aftermarket crankshafts are available for the 383

05 I Another thing about the 400 crankshaft, as well as a number of the combination, but to provide the appropriate mass for the counterweights they
aftermarket stroker crankshafts, is that it's externally balanced, like a 454 are typically balanced with Mallory, a very dense Tungsten alloy. That adds
big-block, with offset weights at both ends. That means the engine must use the cost, but the trade-off is a conventional internally balanced small-block and the
appropriate offset-weight harmonic balancer and flexplate/flywheel. inherent durability advantage that comes with it.

of the pistons but added cost and

complexity to the build. Additionally,
at the bottom of the long, 3.750-inch
stroke, the pistons had (and have) a
tendency to extend beyond the bottom
of the cylinders. If the piston skirts are
too long, it can, at the least, create an
annoying and disconcerting slapping
noise as the pistons are pushed
upward; at the worst, it can affect the
engine's longevity.
Today, a 6.000-inch connecting
rod is a pretty common solution
for the 383. It further reduces side­
loading but the trade-off is a very
07 I Most rotating kits do not include a balancer, short piston to achieve the proper
so when ordering one for a 383, it's important 08 I Even the rear main seal is a critical compression height. And it means
to specify one for the conventional externally component of the 383, and it can be a little the wristpin is pushed up and into
balanced crankshaft or an internally balanced confusing. Using an aftermarket, internally balanced the ring land, which requires special
one. And because of the long stroke and unique crankshaft for the engine with a later-style one­
accommodations for the rings.
counterweight characteristics of the engine, stick piece main seal (shown) requires eliminating the
Fortunately, with several decades of
with a conventional 8-inch balancer. There's no real unique offset weight from the one-piece-specific
flexplate or flywheel. The weight is typically welded 383 building, there are a number of
advantage for a street/sometime strip engine to use
a smaller, 6-inch balancer. in place on flexplates, while weight must be aftermarket 383 rotating kits to pick
removed from a one-piece-compatible flywheel by from, with each offering matched
drilling holes 180 degrees from the original holes. pistons that are sized even for
decked blocks. That means all the
09 1 When math required for determining the
it comes to
compression height is unnecessary,
connecting rods, the
which saves time.
length is crucial for
a top-performing
383. In short, go A QUESTION OF BALANCE
long: Use either AND SEALING
5. 700-inch-long Here's another thing about the
or 6.000-inch- 383. The 400 crankshaft (and many
long rods for a aftermarket cranks designed for a
less-severe rod 383) is externally balanced. That's
angle that reduces
because of the necessary crankshaft
the thrust, or
counterweights required for the longer
loading, against the
cylinder wall. That stroke, but to ensure block clearance,
reduces friction they were added to the ends of the
and enhances crankshaft.
the engine's That means the flexplate/flywheel
rev capability, and harmonic balancer are specific for
particularly at an externally balanced engine. That
higher rpm. wasn't such a big deal for the 400 in
production form since it was designed


1 1 l it's all about getting the compression
height correct for the pistons. It is the
measurement between the centerline of the
wristpin and the flat part of the top of the
piston; and it determines the position of the
top of the piston at top dead center (TDC)
in relation to the block's deck surface. It's
determined by dividing the stroke by two
and adding the connecting rod length to the
quotient. Then subtract the sum from the deck
height. For a standard-deck (9.025 inches) 350
block using 6.000-inch rods, the formula works
out like this: 3.75 I 2 1 .875; and 1 .875 + 6
= =

7.875. Finally, 9.025 - 7.875 1 .1 5 inches for

1 0 I Although longer rod lengths offer the best =

the compression height, which puts the piston

rod angle, piston stability can be an issue if the
right at the top of the engine block.
piston skirt is long enough to extend too far
below the cylinder bore at bottom dead center
(BDC). It can rock and smack the edge of the
bore as it travels upward, possibly affecting
ring seal and ultimate engine longevity. For that
reason, the pistons in a 383 must be selected

more as a low-rpm torque engine for

larger cars and trucks. It's less ideal
in a high-performance combination
that's designed to rev, as it can
introduce detrimental twisting force
on the crankshaft at higher rpm.
Admittedly, it's not that big of a deal
for most street/strip engines, but it's
something to keep in mind.
A number of aftermarket
383 crankshafts and/or rotating
assembly kits are offered in the
conventional externally balanced
design, as well as internally
balanced. We'd go with the internally
balanced crank, given the choice.
The rear main seal must also
be considered when selecting a
crankshaft or rotating kit. Older,
pre-1986 small-block castings used
a two-piece seal and the 1986-and­
later castings have a one-piece
seal that alleviated most of the
small-block's leaking tendencies. It's
important to know which you have
because crankshafts used with the
two-piece design have an offset
weight that cranks for the one-piece
design do not. The one-piece seal
crankshafts, in turn, incorporate the
weight on the flywheel or flexpl.ate.
There are aftermarket 3. 750-inch
crankshafts and 383 rotating kits
designed for one-piece seals, but
using them requires the removal of
the weight for balancing. Keep that
in mind when spec'ing a crankshaft
or engine kit.

The variables involving selecting
No matter how bumpy the road gets, you can
the optimal camshaft for any engine
count on QA1 shocks to handle it with ease.
build are almost endless, but rod
With a variety of adjustability options, QA1
length in the 383 is an important
shocks provide the perfect ride so you can
factor that should be included
when spec'ing a cam or discussing
focus on having fun behind the wheel.


:383 The Right Way

• •

1 3 I Because a longer connecting rod pushes the wristpin higher on the piston,
1 2 I When the compression height pushes the wristpin into the ring land, as there's a point where it goes too far. The general guideline is the compression
with the piston shown, it bisects at least the oil ring. When that happens, oil rail height shouldn't be less than 1 inch, which makes the 6.000-inch rod the
supports are required to provide a solid oil ring land foundation. Alternatively, a practical limit for the 383, especially when decking the block is factored into the
pin button may be used to "fill in" the gap in the ring land where the pin bore build's overall machining. The 1 .1 5-inch compression height is reduced to only
was drilled. They replace the traditional locks. 1 . 1 25 inches when a 350 block is decked to 9.000 inches.

14 1 Another '

for rod length
is whether the
engine is naturally
aspirated or has
forced induction.
It's important
because the
length of the rod
determines the
overall height of
the piston and the
wristpin's position
on it. Compared
to the 6.000-inch
rod, using a shorter
5. 700-inch rod 15 I The rod length can also create clearance issues for the big end around the
means the piston camshaft. Factory 5.700-inch rods will almost certainly need to be ground down
will be a little around the rod bolt. The issue can be particularly acute when using a higher-lift
taller and the pin position a little lower, enabling a thicker, stronger head and roller cam. 1-beam rods, such as those shown, generally offer more clearance
optimized ring pack to better withstand a boosted engine's cylinder pressure. and are easier to modify, if necessary.

it with the tech line of a camshaft

Generally speaking, the goal is to
open the valves to enable the greatest
port flow (volumetric efficiency) when
the pistons are moving at their highest
velocity on the respective intake
strokes. The rod length affects piston
speed and the time it spends both at
top dead center (TDC) and bottom
dead center (SOC); and consequently,
the valve timing via the camshaft must
be accommodated commensurately.
Again, in very general terms and
compared to a stock-displacement
engine, a stroker combination will
want more duration to help process
the more air delivered by the larger
displacement, but piston speed
is a direct result of the rod length
1 6 I And speaking of camshafts, there are plenty of options, but a hydraulic roller works very well, and affects the optimal duration
particularly with a tighter lobe separation angle (LSA) of 1 08-1 1 0 degrees. That accentuates the engine's
in crankshaft degrees. To keep
torque-building capability at low rpm. Other factors, such as the cylinder heads, will help determine the
things from getting unnecessarily
optimal lift and duration specs, but generally speaking, an engine using the longer 6.000-inch rods will
probably do well with a little less duration and a little less LSA than one with 5.700-inch rods. complicated, a good rule of thumb


17 I 383 rotating assembly kits are plentiful and
comparatively affordable, such as this Scat kit
available from Summit Racing. Budget-minded, mild
street systems with a cast crank and hypereutectic
pistons are available for less than $800, while kits
with a forged crankshaft and forged pistons will
run up toward $1 300 These kits don't include a
, .

camshaft or the necessary balancer, etc., but they're

hard to beat when it comes to starting a build
project with all the crucial parts already spec'd.

18 I Whoever built the first 383 short-block was

on to something great, but it was no accident. Doing
it correctly back then required forethought and more
than a little math. That's still the case today, even
with aftermarket kits. Get all the numbers right,
however, and the performance potential is worth
the fuss.

is that, because of the speed of the

pistons and the dwell time at TDC
and SOC, a combination with a longer
connecting rod - 6.000 inches versus
5.700 inches, for example-will require
a little less duration to achieve optimal
volumetric efficiency. The cam would
also likely benefit from a slightly
tighter lobe separation angle, too: 1 09
degrees rather than 1 1 0 degrees, for
The bottom line is, when ordering
a camshaft for a 383, the rod length
is a critical specification that can
significantly affect performance.
Like we said, there's more to
building a strong 383 than just adding
a big-swinging crankshaft. Get it wrong
and it will fall flat, but get it right and
the inherent torque of the small-block
multiplies and brings with it a satisfying
rush of horsepower.
It's a delicate balance, but one that's
worth the risk. CHP
that era that makes people want to a very important decision in dream on suspension, which led me to
come up and tell you a story." Now, car ownership. wanting Pro Touring performance."
even though that sounds like Andrew "When I bought the pace car, I Once Andrew had a clearer idea of
might have found the exact car he had somehow expected a tighter ride what he wanted out of a ' 69 Camaro,
dreamt about for years, it was at this and that is when the mission creep he realized three things that would
point where he forced himself to make began. I started doing the research soon change the direction of where he


would take the Chevy that he had in After several more months of
his possession. searching, something magical
"The first is that by ripping out happened. Bam! The Unicorn
the factory suspension I would surfaced. Yeah, we can hardly
be 'ruining' a piece of history by believe Andrew's luck either, but
modifying it. Next, I knew the cost he found exactly what he was after,
was going to be significantly higher and who can trust what they read on
than I had expected. Lastly, I was the Interweb these days, anyway?
going to be without the car for a long "I was reading the listing and all my
time while things were getting ripped check marks are adding up one by
out and altered, so I decided to just one. My heart had started to race. I
sell the car. I was ready to search for a could feel it."
car that had about 80- to 90-percent of Andrew called on the ad and
what I wanted already, and just buy found that the car was just as good as
that one instead. it sounded, but it was located on the
"I was looking for a car with opposite side of the country. Andrew
all Detroit Speed suspension wasn't about to let this opportunity
components, a TREMEC T- 56 slip through his fingers so he altered
Magnum, an LS7, a Moser rearend, an existing east coast business
and a stereo that could clean fish." meeting to include a stop in Charlotte,
That's one hell of a wish list, but was after," Andrew says. "It turned North Carolina, to pay a visit to this
what are the chances of finding all of into a game of looking at car specs mythical creature.
those characteristics (as well as others and expecting my requirements not to Upon flying 2, 500 miles to see the
on his list) bolted to one single '69 be met. It was like reading numbers Camaro, taking a real good look at
Camaro out there? Andrew's dream on a lotto ticket. I would go through its undercarriage (it was all Detroit
car quickly morphed into an elusive the paces of looking but already Speed gear alright), and going back
Unicorn he didn't think would ever knowing the winning numbers and forth in his head wondering if
show its face. wouldn't hit." Andrew didn't give he was making the right decision,
"Well, every weekend I looked up hope even though everything was all it took was hearing the car fire up
at all the online spots I knew could pointing to him having to settle for to coax a simple, "I'll take it" from
possibly harbor a beast like the one I less than what he was after. Andrew's lips.


- -



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originally built the Camaro for a client. stories to tell from his experience
The odometer readout was a measly driving his Camaro throughout Los
550 miles. Andrew didn't have all the Angeles, from the coast to the 'hood.
details of why the car was being sold, "Everyone is quick to give me a
but he was sure glad he pulled the thumbs up, even the cops, which is
trigger. "I knew the car needed to be great I'd love to stay on their good
fine-tuned in order to perform at its side for as long as possible."
peak so I had my buddy and Sprint Andrew's having a blast with his
Car driver Verne Sweeney in Torrance, car and its overall performance has
California, give it a look." exceeded his wildest expectations.
While the Camaro was getting "Building this car would have no
a good once-over, the next set of doubt been great, but expensive-e­
eyes to inspect it belonged to Ryne What that meant to me was that I could probably more than what my budget
Cunningham, a world-renowned LS finally drive the car like I had been would have allowed. Aside from a few
engine guru. Andrew had noticed dying to. I like to refer to it as being the bugs that were easily worked out, this
some operating issues, which Ryne Camaro version of the AIM-Sidewinder car was built with some of the finest
quickly assessed to an incorrect throttle missile because it handles like an components out there, which is exactly
body. "Once that was taken care of, absolute beast and eats up slalom runs what I was after. Tracking this grade of
Ryne was able to conduct a proper like nobody's business. That Detroit Camaro down required a lot of patience
tune and squeezed out 5-percent more Speed stuff is no joke." and research, but it was well worth the
horsepower from the LS7-Z06 engine. Andrew has put his car through its hard work and time invested." CHP


HGM Automotive Electronics

A new wireless phone app that

controls 4L60/4L80 automatics

-:- TEXT & PHOTOS: Jeff Smith

e are quite often asked about the advantages for the family of 4L60E The only question that remained
electronic transmissions over the earlier, and less expensive, 700-R4 unanswered was which controller to
versions of the four-speed automatic. Other than the cost difference, which is use. There are several companies
considerable, the chips almost universally stack in favor of the electronic version. building reputable stand-alone
It all comes down to a matter of control, and now that just became even electronic trans controllers, but
easier. Veteran CHP readers may recognize this El Camino as the same one particular version stood
big-block-powered A-body that enjoyed a conversion to Holley Sniper EFI. out: HGM Electronics' newly
For a month or so after the engine ran fine right up until the 700-R4 fried its revised Compushift Sport. Its
clutches. Other acquaintances had suffered similar 700-R4 failures, and they predecessor proved itself to be a
all pointed an accusing finger at the troublesome TV cable. The El Camino's highly dependable unit with a great
owner, Eric Rosendahl, decided against rebuilding the 700-R4, choosing reputation, but HGM decided to
instead to move up the food chain to a Sonnax- and TCI-enhanced 4L60E, upgrade the design with wireless
which also has been detailed in these pages. improvements .

./ 01 Highway cruising with the El Camino is great now with the

combination of a 4L60E overdrive and a B&M lockup converter. /
On a recent trip up the coast, Eric Rosendahl's Sniper EFI'd 60 f.
big-block knocked down 1 4 highway mpg.


The original Compushift II control
box employed a somewhat large
aluminum housing accompanied
with a pushbutton display unit in a
separate housing connected by a
cable to the controller. While this
system worked fine, it was somewhat
clunky. HGM completely redesigned
the controller with upgraded
electronics that they placed in a
smaller, billet aluminum housing and
superseded the handheld display
and wires with a new smartphone
and tablet app. The system uses
Bluetooth connectivity to allow
the user to control all transmission
tuning aspects through their device.
As an option, the original display/
control box is still available for those
who have no desire to convert to a
An immediate and positive benefit
02 I The biggest challenge in replacing the 700-R4 with a 4L60E was fitting the stock dipstick tube.
of this wireless approach is not Connecting the Sport wiring harness was as easy as plugging it in.
only the freedom of a smartphone
connection, but the fewer hard parts 03 1 This
also lowered the price, so score one shot compares
for technology. The app is a free the early
download on your phone and setup Compushift ECU
and fine-tuning is accomplished with (left) with the
a few taps on the screen. The Sport new Sport billet
version is refined enough that once aluminum case
version that
the system is installed and the basic
is both more
inputs of transmission (4L60E or
compact and
4L80E), number of cylinders, vehicle lighter.
weight, rear gear ratio, and tire size
are inputted, all that's left to do is
configure the TPS. The system then
produces a generic shift regime.
Even better, fine-tuning with inputs
such as the up-shift speeds and the
converter lock-up details are simple
and easy.
Rosendahl's original 700-R4
used a mechanical cable drive and
speedometer that the 4L60E does
not offer. While the newer trans can
be converted with an aftermarket
extension housing, a much easier
alternative is to employ an electronic
speedometer. The 4L60E uses a
transmission output shaft speed
{TOSS) sensor signal that can
be used to drive an electronic
speedometer. Plus, on the vehicle
setup screen, there is an input to
adjust the TOSS signal to quickly
calibrate the speedometer.
It's worth mentioning here that this
story will focus on tuning we made to
a 4L60E transmission, but the exact
same tuning changes and all the
advantages of the Sport carry d irectly
over to the 4L80E, as well.
One of our concerns was whether
just anyone with a similar app could 04 J A minor challenge was deciding where to mount the new box and routing the wiring harness. Rosendahl
easily access the car's current trans drilled a 1 -inch hole to route the harness through the heater box and then routed the wires down to the
configuration, but each system transmission.


:21st Century Shift

GM Electronic Transmissions
Controlled by the
Compushift Sport
GM 4L60E/4L65E/4L70E
GM 4L60E Corvette- Transaxle
GM 4L80E/4L85E
GM. 4T65E Front Wheel Drive
GM 4T80E Front Wheel Drive

To show how easy this is, the

accompanying smartphone screen
shots tell most of the story. For
example, after wiring the Sport
ECU, all the inputs - and later tuning
adjustments- were all accomplished
on Rosendahl's Android phone
after loading the app. The final step
OS I With a Sniper EFI throttle body already on the car, Rosendahl just tapped into the existing TPS signal. But calibrated the TPS and then we fired
since carburetors are still a big part of the performance landscape, the Sport controller will need a TPS adapter kit
the engine, topped off the trans
like this Acculink from HGM. This is a slick stainless steel bracket that mounts a standard GM three-wire TPS. The
bracket will fit Holley, Q-jet, and Edelbrock carburetors. fluid, and the default shift calibration
turned out to be very close with mild
has its own dedicated Bluetooth were fitting a new trans cooler and up-shifts.
connection so that only your phone lines and muscling the dipstick With the app loaded and the
is encrypted to l i n k to your Sport tube past the big-block's cylinder car running down the street, the
control software. head. With those tasks completed, default settings were acceptable.
We decided to test the Sport we wired the controller per the After a few m inutes of driving we
controller on Rosendahl's big-block instructions and typed the inputs began modifying the settings to suit
El Camino. With the new 4L60E into the app, which only took a few Rosendahl's taste in shift points
installed, our biggest headaches minutes. and firmness using a passenger


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06 I The Sport version of the redesigned
Compushift II uses Bluetooth to connect a smartphone
to the trans ECU. No laptop is necessary to configure
this system. lt is possible to stand next to the car with
the ignition key on and tune the software. This is the
initial setup screen with inputs like final drive ratio,
tire diameter, and speedometer calibration if the car is
07 I With the 4L60E installation complete, Rosendahl eliminated the troublesome lV cable linkage, which
using an electronic speedometer.
cleaned up the underhood appearance.
to make the changes. The first
thing we did was raise the part­ type of control is a huge advantage We also modified the shift points
throttle shift points slightly. We then over the older 700-R4. To make line in the same fashion since the app
moved over to the shift firmness pressure changes on non-electronic allows finite changes to each gear
screen. There, we bumped the line transmissions often required internal for upshifts. But where we spent
pressure slightly until shifts were changes to the transmission or mild the most time experimenting was
firm without being offensive. This tweaks to the TV cable. establishing the combination of

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starting at s f
:21st Century Shift
· -

speed where the trans shifts into

Fourth gear and where we wanted
2200 73 the torque converter clutch (TCC) to
1$11!1 molt

... . engage. Another of the simple inputs
Auto 4 �·
;::...ii� i'!".....,
is where you want the trans to shift
� ....... ....
.I"�.. ,.�;fill
at wide-open throttle (WOT). With


200 On ,p
...\. •fF/#'
� .,-.•! the 700-R4, this is controlled by the
� �""'� .; /
.;• governor, often requiring multiple

13.41 9 /' #t." ,# experiments with weights and

v .,.

�..,...� springs to get close to the proper
A 0 �·"��
-:...... /..... shift points. But with these electronic
� �,..;... F'
.. �.......
transmissions, we merely spec'd the
.. """
.. "'

" WOT rpm and that's exactly where
the trans will shift every time. If
you've ever messed with governor
08 I Within minutes after inputting the data into the
app, we fired up the El Camino, rechecked the fluid 09 I This screen offers shift speeds for both the weights and springs then you
level, and hit the road. This is the dashboard that offers A and B calibrations. For example, A could be a mild already know how much of a major
constant data on rpm, vehicle speed, transmission everyday driver combination while B could be more hassle it is to get the WOT shifts
fluid temperature, line pressure, system voltage, aggressive with higher line pressures. Greater line correct on the older 700-R4s. This
current gear, and whether the torque converter clutch pressures increase shift firmness. For example, in feature alone justifies the investment
(fCC) is engaged. Note that at 73 mph with the TCC the R2L category, Rosendahl could increase the line in a 4L60E.
engaged in Fourth gear at 2,200 rpm, the throttle is pressure in reverse and low gear to enhance clutch Another advantage of the 4L60E
only opened 9 percent. apply for low gear launches.
over the 700-R4 is that the Sport
software allows the user to choose

� what gear the torque converter

will lock. With the 700-R4, most
conversions trigger the TCC at the
same time the transmission shifts
into overdrive. With Sport control on
a 4L60E (or 4L80E), you can choose
to lock the TCC in Third gear. Plus,
there are far more controls over when
the TCC unlocks.
With the big-block's massive
torque, Rosendahl chose to delay the
TCC engagement until Fourth gear
and then spec'd it to lock up after the
Camino exceeded 50 mph. There's
also an additional feature where the
tuner can select the specific amount
11 I This is an incredibly useful input for control over
of throttle opening where the TCC
the TCC. This screen offers control over which gear
you want the TCC to engage, as well as the speed. unlocks. For example, Rosendahl
At the bottom is the disable percentage, which is the chose 35 percent to use more of
10 I Drilling deeper into adjusting line pressure, the percentage of speed below the engagement speed the big-block's torque while the
app features a graphing function so you can plot a where the clutch will unlock. For example, if the TCC remained locked. This is again
curve for the pressure against vehicle speed for each lock-up speed is 50 mph with a disable at 1 0 percent, a personal preference. A higher
individual gear. the TCC will unlock at 45 mph. percentage tends to lug the engine,
which could cause detonation at
lower engine speeds.
Rosendahl now has about nine
months of driving experience under
the Sport control and has nothing
but praise for how well it works.
He often will power up his phone
and use the Dashboard display to
view the trans temperature. H e also
converted to an AutoMeter Phantom
electronic speedometer that is now
driven by the TOSS output from
the Sport software. Rosendahl says
this move to the 4L60E and its shift
upgrades has put the fun back into
driving his big-block El Camino.
And that's supposed to be the point
of driving an older muscle car-to
12 I This is the engine compartment on Rosendahl's El Camino. It's a stout 460ci Rat with factory, oval port iron light the tires occasionally and have
heads, a mild Comp hydraulic roller cam and made 580 lb-ft of torque and 527 horsepower. some fun. CHP



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If you're struggling with door gaps that cannot be
perfected at the hinges and striker, here's an idea

-:- TEXT: Jim Smart I PHOTOS: Christian Arriero

0 ne of the first things you notice at a car show or weekend cruise is the raised the window glass, and covered
caliber of rides out there. Which ones excite and which ones should stay it all to prevent damage. It's a good
on the porch. Rides that get our positive attention are tastefully executed. They idea to use tape along the door edge
sport the best body and paint quality, which should include precise door, fender, to provide a visual reference as to how
hood, and decklid gaps. Poor body gaps take all of the sizzle out of a high-end much material needs to be removed.
paintjob. We'll show you one way to get yours right. You don't have to be stuck with
MotorTrend Tech Center Technician Christian Arriero tells us body panel gaps poor body gaps when sheetmetal
are normally adjusted at factory adjustment points, such as hinges, strikers, and dimensions just don't match. Chris
inner fenders. He adds, "reproduction body panels, doors, hoods, and fenders is going to show how to achieve
don't always fit the same way as original factory sheetmetal, making them perfect door gaps when the factory
challenging to gap. We shaved the door end because we've already achieved a adjustment points won't dial in. First,
good fit in front at the fender by adjusting the door hinges." The gap at the rear you want to get the door gaps as
of the door didn't adjust well because of some prior repair work at the door and close as you can using the factory
quarter-panel. "We chose to weld and grind the door end to get the gap spot adjustment locations. Then it's time
on," Chris comments. to perform a little cosmetic surgery in
You may have a classic Chevy that's been tagged a time or two, which makes order to reach the finish line and feel
setting gaps pretty much impossible. Chris uses thickness gauges to make sure good about your work.
the door gaps are the same from top to bottom. He removed the door handle, Let's get started. CHP


01 I The first thing
you want to do is
remove anything
vulnerable or that
could be damaged
by grinding debris
and welding, such
as the door panel,
weatherstripping, and

02 I Use masking tape as a guideline for your door gapping efforts. Chris uses 03 I Chris masks the door to prevent paint damage beyond the gapping,
this approach to ensure he doesn't take off too much material. welding, and grinding process. We're ready to get to work.

04 I The door gap has been checked with the door closed to confirm how 05 1 With the door end ground smooth, Chris checks the door gap. Because
much meat Chris needs to remove. He performs the grinding process in baby this is an accident-damaged Camara, setting the gap is tricky because both the
steps because you don't want to remove too much steel. door and quarter-panel are distorted, hence the reason for trimming this door.


:Quick Gap Fix

07 I When it's time to weld out the door end, the wire-feed welder has to
06 I When you grind the door end clean like this, it enables you to see all of be adjusted carefully to where you don't get too much heat and melt the skin.
the door structure. Shown here is the outer door skin, middle structure, and the There's a special technique to welding body panels called slow and methodical,
inside shell. and with the right amount of amperage and wire speed. It takes a lot of practice.

09 I At first glance this looks sloppy. However, this is how you weld
sheetmetal in baby steps to prevent distortion. Strike the weld and leave a glob,
08 1 Chris has carefully struck an arc every 1/2-inch to prevent overheating then let it cool before striking the next weld. Make sure you penetrate the base
and warping the steel. You want good penetration of the steel without causing metal. Tap the weld with a small hammer. If it breaks off, you didn't penetrate
damage. This looks pretty crude as welded, but it works for the door end. the base metal.

1 1 I Chris has worked the door's initial end gap. The door will be closed and
1 0 I The welds are ground smooth with a 36-grit disc and a long pass up and the gap checked. You want a 3/16- to 1/4-inch gap down the entire height of
down the door end with that initial cut. Grind, then check the door gap. the door.



1 3 I Now that the heavy grinding is behind us, Chris is going to a 220-grit 3M
1 2 I Chris continues along the door edge with the 36-grit disc to remove any disc to clean up the edges. It does a nice job to where the door edge is nice and
ragged edges. clean, and ready for final finishwork.

r ;

1 5 ( With the door closed, we have a perfect 3/16-inch gap between the door
14 1 The Camara's door now has a clean edge and a perfect gap when the and quarter-panel. And, yes, there's a lot of filler on this door, indicating accident
door is closed. damage in the past.

16 I With all of the

protective paper and
masking tape removed,
the gap becomes more
visible. A body shop will
need to perform clean-up
work on this door and then
do a nice paint blend.
-:- by Nick Licata

Retro RTX
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C7·Style Spindle & Stoppers

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� Chassisworks adds to their their Corvette-style spindles, which are a direct bolt-on for a Nova, Chevelle, or Camara (early
growing selection of chassis Camara kit uses original or CPP replacement steering arms). The early A/FIX-body tall spindle helps
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� Holley is pleased to announce the release of Flowtech non-muffled axle-back
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LT Serpentine Kit
� Drive Junky Serpentine Drive Systems' LT4 kit is a direct bolt-on for the LT4 wet­
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Quick-Like Steering
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N ift N ovas Left For Dead?

Two C evy l i s remind us of the N ova's econo-car roots
* I n this month's Bashed Bowties, we're bouncing through Sundell Auto Specialties in Shelby,
North Carolina, (704.473.39 1 6, checking out some early Novas. With the passage
of nearly 60 years, it's often forgotten that the aH-new 1 962 Chevy I I was initially meant to be an
austere economy car with minimal bells and whistles. The Chevy 1 1/Nova was also a corporate
admission that its technologically advanced, air-cooled, rear engine 1 960 Corvair was too scary
to compete against Ford's stone-age-simple Falcon and the rest of the much more conventional
American compact car offeri ngs (th ink AMC Rambler, Studebaker Lark, Plymouth Valiant, Dodge
Lancer, etc.).
Thus, Chevy's promotional
campaign referred to the new-for-'62
Nova as a spiritual return to the
simplicity and sensibility of the 1 929
Chevy Six, a car that helped pull
GM through the Great Depression.
Horsepower and performance were
not the featured details.
Heck, if you wanted a V-8-powered
Nova before 1 964 you had to install
it yourself with an over-the-counter
kit. Novas were strictly four- or six­
cylinder machines. And about that
six, an all-new design that replaced
the 235-inch Blue Flame Six, Chevy
marketing men made a big deal over
how the new Hi-Thrift Six shared the
same 1 94 cubes as the beloved 1 929 * 1 964 was the first year for factory-built V-8 Novas, and records show that just over 25,000 were built.
Stovebolt Six. Clearly, the core buyer Though Hemi-haunting L79s wouldn't appear until 1 966 (5,481 built), for 1 964, Chevy only offered the
wasn't viewed as part of the baby small-displacement 283 with 1 95 horsepower (L32 two-barrel) or 220 horsepower (L77 four-barrel). But it
boomer set, but rather older, more was a major step forward. Note the mix-and-match five-lug Rally and Gen Ill Camara wheels on this 1 964
Nova 400 series two-door pillar coupe. From 1 964 onward, to keep pace with the V-8, larger 9.5-inch brake
practical folks who grew up during, or
drums and five-lug hubs finally replaced the four-lug, 9-inch drums used on inline-fours and -sixes.
lived through, the Dust Bowl and the
Wall Street Crash of 1 929. * In the transitional year of
One frustrating detail found on 1 964, Chevy didn't assign a
1 962 and '63 models are four-lug unique VIN sequence or cowl
hubs and wheels. Folks hoping to tag style code to identify cars
jazz up their cars with the "day two" with factory-installed 283
addition of Cragar S/S or American V-8s. That makes verifying
Racing Torq-Thrust-styled wheels a 1 964 Chevy II or Nova 283
somewhat tricky. On this
were barred from action. By the way,
patina-legit 1 964 specimen,
this cheesy four-lug thing wasn't
the cowl tag's style code
unique to the Chevy II. Ford Falcon reads 64-041 1 , a match for
and Chevy Corvair had 'em in 1 960, a 1 964 model year, Nova
as did the 1 961 Oldsmobile F85 and two-door sedan. For 1 965,
Cutlass "senior compact." How many Chevy began assigning a
pennies do you think carmakers specific Style code for the V-8:
saved by using four fewer lug nuts on Chevy II, 1 1 4; 400 series and
these cars? The mind boggles. Nova: 1 1 6; and Nova Super
Sport, 1 1 8.
Let's scope out this pair of early
Novas and explore their "first" and
"last" details. And while Bashed Steve Magnante has been a full-time automotive journalist since 1991 and is the author
Bowties isn't a dating service, there's of several books on junkyards, building altered wheelbase match-race replicas, and
nothing stopping readers from muscle car trivia. He is a TV vehicle commentator for the Barrett-Jackson collector car

reaching out to see if the featured auctions and is the host of Roadkill's Junkyard Gold, both on MotorTrend TV.
cars are available for rescue.


1. Publication Tide: Chevy High Pertormance
2. Publication Number: ISSN 1062-192X
3. Filing Date: 10/0112019
4. Issue Frequency: Monthly
5. Number of Issues Published Annually: 12
6. Annual Subscription Price: $20.00
7. Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication: 275 Madison Ave.
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Contact Person: Brian Laboe 212.915.4182

8. Complete Mailing Address of Headquarters or General Business Office of high performance compound in a choice and improved pad
TEN: Publishing Media. LLC. 831 S. Douglas St.. El Segundo, CA 90245
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14. Issue Date for Circulation Data Below: October 2019
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Including Sales Through Dealers Unique .. Brake-In™ ..
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Counter Sales and Other Paid coating conditions
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subject to criminal sanctions (including fines and imprisonment) and/or civil
sanctions (including civil penalties). performance store or order at Autozone. www. ebcbrakes. com

* This simple V-shaped front fender emblem warned

drivers of competing compact cars a 283 was on
board. For an extra $1 07.60 above the 1 94 six or
$162.60 above the 153 tour, 283-powered Chevy lis
and Novas were suddenly capable of spanking 215
V-8-equipped Buick, Olds, and Pontiac senior
compacts, and even the occasional V-8-powered
Studebaker Lark. That's because the Stude's 259/289-
cube V-8 was a heavy, asthmatic relic from the early
1 950s. The handful of Paxton-supercharged 289
Lark Daytonas were too few to cause worry on Main
Street U.S.A. Worthy threats included the turbocharged
1 962-'63 Oldsmobile Jetfire (with just 215 hp, but
their 300 lb-ft of torque made them quick off the light),
1963 Pontiac Tempest V-8 (260 hp), 1 964 Dodge Dart * All 1 962-'63 Nova convertibles were six-cylinder powered. The 1 53-inch four was restricted. This
273 (180 hp), and 1 963-'64 Ford Falcon 260 (164 hp). prevented molasses-like acceleration with the heavily reinforced convertible platform. 1962 and '63
Like the Chevy 283, the Dart and Falcon V8s quickly station wagons (excepting potential fleet sales) were also strictly six-cylinder powered for the same
responded to the usual bolt-on goodies. And while the reason. The small-pad brake pedal in this 400 series convertible tells us it was built with the base-level
1963 Pontiac Tempest's engine badges proclaimed column-shifted three-speed manual transmission. 1963 saw the launch of a 230-cubic-inch version
326 cubes, these one-year engines actually displaced of the six for fullsize Chevys, but it wasn't offered in Novas until 1 965 (for an extra $37). By 1 967, the
339 cubes and were worth every bit of their advertised Nova's optional six ballooned out to 250 cubes and 1 55 horsepower. Who says the horsepower race was
260 horsepower. The one-year 1 963 four-speed restricted to V-8s? This final-year '63 ragtop is super rusty, but fortunately, virtually everything needed is
LeMans "326" was a stealthy sleeper. available from the reproduction aftermarket.


- = -
' -·


* A full two years before Chevrolet launched the

Nova's first factory V-8 option, Hot Rod, Motor Trend,
and Car Life fanned the flames with stories based
on two experimental prototypes. The car shown in
the March 1962 Hot Rod and June 1 962 Car Ute
was a white Nova 400 series two-door hardtop
wearing California license plate 048. A second test
mule based on a tan Chevy II 300 series four-door
appeared in the March 1962 issue of Motor Trend.
The MTfour-door got a single four-barrel carbureted
327 that was described as having 340 horsepower
and appeared to be a stripped L76 (no finned
* Despite the ho-hum front bench seat and two-speed Powerglide automatic seen here, 1 964 Nova buyers aluminum valve covers). Both test cars were four­
saw the debut of the wide-ratio Muncie M20 four-speed option, of which 3,566 were factory-installed. At speeds. The white car may have been converted
$188.30, the floor shifted Muncie was only $21.30 more than the sleepy 'Glide. Oh, what could have been. later at Bill Thomas Chevrolet into an FIA Nova road
Somewhere along the line, a four-spoke Vega GT steering wheel was swapped into this Nova. The same racer with Corvette IRS and an add-on fiberglass
wheel caused a stir with Corvette buyers when it showed up aboard 1 976 Corvettes as standard equipment. fastback roof. Research on this matter is ongoing.


* On the other side of
the coin, this 1963 Nova
convertible is the last of the
line. That's right, soft-top
Novas were only offered in
1 962 (23,741 built) and '63
(24,823 built), never again
through the end of Nova
production. Knowing the
new midsize Chevelle was
coming for 1 964, and would
attract many convertible * Later, as factory-engineered Nova V-8s were
buyers, Chevrolet dropped built, specific 283 and 327 engine blocks with
the Nova convertible for recessed oil filter pads were used. Here, the tape
1 964, leaving the Corvair, measure shows the 2-inch-deep recess present on
Impala, Corvette, and V-8 Nova engine blocks. Non-Nova blocks position
aforementioned Chevelle for the circular oil filter ring on the same plane as the
open-air motoring. oil pan gasket rail.

* By listing all required •·· '


factory part numbers,

Chevrolet legalized
the Corvette-powered
Nova for the newly
formed NHRA Factory
Experimental (FX)
category. There, A/FX
(less than 8 pounds per
cubic inch), B/FX (9.00
to 12.99 pounds per
cubic inch), and C/FX
(13 and more pounds
per cubic inch) classes
* Being the most "hands on" of the bunch, the gave the factories
March 1 962 edition of Hot Rod gave the most (and their chosen
detailed rundown of the swap story. Interestingly, teams) a playground
the dark-colored Nova shown here was likely just to show off their latest
used to stage a few photos. The actual Bill Thomas "wonder weapons"
swap car was the white two-door with CA 048 ,....,.... •lt4 JJrotllr
•;, tb lt'Ml
without the 500-car­ O/fl1•TJfN*f


plates. minumum-production
mandate found in NHRA Stock and Super Stock categories. Several V-8 Novas were built, but it was "Dyno"
Don Nicholson's 327 fuelie-powered Chevy II station wagon that made the deepest waves. Nicknamed the
"School Bus" by Nicholson, it won B/FX at the 1962 NHRA Pomona Winternationals with a 12.55 at 1 08.96
pass. Opposing FX machinery for 1 962 included the Dragmasters' Golden Lancer, a 41 3 Max Wedge­
powered 1962 Dodge Lancer compact; the Mickey Thompson/Hayden Proffitt 421 Super Duty-powered '62
Pontiac Tempest compact; and the Tasca Ford Zimmy I, a 406-Ford-motivated '62 Ford Fairlane. Here, Bill
Thomas (left) and Ray Brock discuss details.

The 1962-'65 Chevy 11/Nova differential accepts the same Hotchkiss-style drop-out centersection as
fullsize 1955-'64 Chevrolets and 1956-'62 Corvettes. This makes axle ratio changes and Positraction
swaps a simple process. But for 1966, the Chevy 1 1/Nova switched to the Salisbury-style 10-bolt and
* The Hot Rod conversion story said the Nova test 12-bolt rear axles that debuted under the 1964 Chevelle midsize A-body platform. Gear swaps were
car's original 194 six weighed 467 pounds with all much more involved and the dreaded C-clip entered the Bowtie landscape.
accessories, clutch, and bellhousing. The 327 fuelie "Dyno" Don Nicholson's Rochester fuel-injected 1962 Nova station wagon B/FX champion was so
weighed 580 pounds. With the heft of the aluminum successful the racer also campaigned it through 1963 alongside his 409 and 427 Z11 1mpalas in S/S,
T-1 0 four-speed, upsized brakes, rear traction bars, FX, and MP. When Nicholson made his big switch (defected?) to Lincoln-Mercury i n 1964, memories
dual exhaust plumbing, and larger radiator added up, of the School Bus 327 Nova wagon lingered. Nicholson's first (of many) factory-backed Mercury drag
the V-8 conversion increased the Nova's curb weight cars was a 1964 Comet station wagon. Built for Nicholson by Dearborn Steel Tubing, it ran an FE 427
to 2,908 pounds. Of that, 1 ,656 pounds (56.9 percent) Hi-Riser and four-speed. Dubbed the Ugly Duckling, it ran low 11s. Though the wagon platform's added
rode on the front tires. "Dyno" Don Nicholson's traction continued to win, Mercury management pressured their star driver into the more popular
decision to build his 1962 Pomona-B/FX-winning (with spectators) Comet Caliente hardtop by mid-year. The 427 wagon lived on with Eddie Schartman
School Bus fuelie Nova around a station wagon at the wheel well into the 1965 season. By 1966, Nicholson and Schartman found themselves at the
made sense. With its extra rear overhang (and maybe wheel of 427 SOHC-powered flip-top Cyclone funny cars. Read all about Nicholson's early Chevy 409
some strategically placed ballast), its static weight and Rochester-powered Novas (he also had a two-door sedan) in Doug Boyce's recent book "Dyno"
distribution was nearly 50/50. The car shown here Don: The Cars and Career of Dyno Don Nicholson.
was completed and later road tested in the June
1 962 issue of Car Life magazine.


Long Ago
* I adhered to a performance
car/drag race regimen that
began professionally in 1 968.
Along about 1 978, I defected .
John Dianna hired me at Motor
Trend as a feature editor. That's
when I rei uctantly abandoned
cool, fast hot rods for boring
new sleds that did nothing to
excite or even run well. Detroit
was a dead zone.
You might remember that around
that time the Japanese were
systematically eating Detroit's lunch the dark-blue Camara slanted heavily to in front of me. I don't remember
pail. One thing about working for the right. I managed to escape the cold speaking as much as making croaking
MT was that you got sent to places steel guardrail . . . twice. Eventually, we sounds.
like Paris, Rome, and Tokyo instead got mid-1 1 -second times on that frozen I don't remember any of the
of the bright spots in Turkey, North tarmac. But that isn't the thing. The conversation with Jimmy, but I'll never
Carolina, or Sewickley, Pennsylvania. thing is that I was the fortunate one, at forget the dining experience. By the
Remember that this stuff happened least until someone rewrites this history. time we touched down in Lakeland,
decades back so my recollections are it was time for lunch. We ordered
a little dim or maybe even wrong. Two HARVEY CRANE'S PLANE spaghetti. Having associated with
of these creatures didn't even have any I think this was around 1 972. I people of Italian/Sicilian heritage
wheels. We'll take them in the order of was at Car Craft. I was in Hallandale most of my life and knowing what
appearance. [Florida] to see Harvey and his red gravy looked like as well how it
supremely accurate measuring devices was supposed to taste, the "tomato
'69 CAMARO ZL1 and about microscopic cam deflection. sauce" in Lakeland was some abysmal
Super Stock & Drag Illustrated had We'd struck enough of a friendship concoction based on ummmm . . .
a close relationship with Dick Harrell that he asked did I want to fly up to catsup. Arrghhh! Maybe some crusty
(Kansas City, Missouri), an alliance that Lakeland to see NHRA record holder bread to go with it at least? Hal
got us the first documented test of a Jimmy Waibel. "Fly?" I croaked. "Yeah,
COPO 9560, and shot bird to high-zoot I want to talk to him about something ABRAMS M1 TANK
Hot Rod, Car & Driver, and all the rest and might as well do it in person," For a while in the mid-'80s, I did
of 'em. I got to Missouri a few days Harvey said with a wink. Waibel owned stuff for Motor Trend on the East Coast.
after the big ball dropped in Times E/S with a '57 2 1 0 post car. I don't One time, they wanted me to go where
Square; it was so cold that long undies know what the plane was, but it had the gold was. Fort Knox was a fable.
were required (but we didn't have any). two engines and four seats. That's where the gold was, right? More
Harrell's crew had prepped the all-alloy A few things have stuck in my head germane to this is location, it was real
motor with tube headers, leaf-spring about that day. The trip up, surely, estate, and the ground in Kentucky was
clips, 7-inch slicks, and jelled it with because the flight path cut diagonally for training in treads, personnel carriers,
a hard-core tune-up. When it was on across primordial Lake Okeechobee. artillery, and in main battle tanks.
the line at Kansas City International Being several thousand feet above Captain Barry Sprouse, chief of public
Raceway, I don't think it had more than the earth was reinforced by nothing information, showed us the way to Area
25 miles on the odometer and most of but water down below. Sure, it was 13, a fantastic moonscape of a place,
that was the distance between Harrell's a perfect place to introduce the its violated soil reduced to silt. In a few
doors and the dragstrip. passenger to the effects of zero gravity. minutes swirling brown talc is in our hair
Longtime readers know that I've Harvey told me to take out my wallet and eyes and between our teeth.
recounted this episode in varying and any other loose stuff I had on me The momentary stiffness that
degrees at least three times over the and put it on the floor, which I did. He accompanies people who are newly
years. There's nothing new here; the looked at me, a weird smile on his lips introduced soon fades into good­
highlights included leaving the line with and pushed the nose over. The plane natured rib poking. The tank crewmen
the throttle pinned (on Harrell's "advice") dropped, as did gravitational pull. The and the attendant brass conditionally
and yanking the Turbo 400 lever into stuff I'd put on the deck, including a accepted us into their pecking order.
gear. The tiny M&H's turned into lava cloud of dust that had been there for Few civilians ever come this close to a
and like it was shot from a railway gun, years, was suddenly floating dreamlike modern tank, much less get inside one.


Though a lot more happened in this heartbeat, nothing happens. Then we transmission through its shift pattern
episode, circa 1984, I'll tell you about lunged in a great whoosh of engine and changing gears like a drag racer.
the secret mechanical stuff that you'll and swirling dust. Compared to the The power is so clean, so pure, and so
never hear from anyone else. antique oil-burner, the turbine's power abundant that it can make you manic.
The M1 's steering is very l ight and is very linear and very smooth. Shift the Then you remember that there are 60
there isn't a sliver of road feel. An transmission to high; that's the ticket. tons along for the ride and you imagine
extremely low profile has established Unlike the precursor Sherman, the feeling of an elevator loosed from
the M 1 's center of gravity directly the M1 is not guided by twin sticks; its cable, say 60 stories up with you in
under the tank commander's gluteus the light, power-assisted steering is it, and discretion prevails.
maximus. Pair this with ponderous controlled by Vespa-like handlebars. There is finesse involved, such that
weight and wide track and the Abrams At either end of the tiller are rubber comes not from driving the M1 but
is neigh impossible to get greasy-side handgrips. Power is applied by a from that talent that marks the driver
up. Really fast turns are out. To change twist of the wrist, just like it is for a as being sensitive to the machine. After
direction you crank the handlebars all motorcycle. Close to the floor and a few minutes practice and advice, I
the way over, touch the brake, and pull nearly between the driver's feet is have the ark moving well enough to
on the power. General Abrams does the brake. craftily run a long dinosaur spine with
the rest. On the outside, the engine sounds near-perfect rhythm, applying just
The automatic transmission has like a gigantic vacuum cleaner, but in enough steering and power to float the
four forward speeds and two for the driver's foxhole, insulated by tons tank over the humps without jostling
reverse. The gear selector is in front of of metal, there is very little noise and no its occupants, who thanked me for not
the driver. With thumb and forefinger vibration; so much that when I clipped beating them up.
it moved easily from one detent to a school bus they'd used to mark out a "She'll do about 50 wide open,"
another on its horizontal arc. You "street" lined with them. I never felt it. drawls full-time driver Spec. 4 Floyd
slide the selector to D and pull back Under full throttle, the turbine Miller. "And that's with the governor.
on the throttle. Pull back hard. For a comes on like Godzilla, sending the Without the speed control we've hit

ART MORRISON ENTERPRISES . . . . . . . . . . CV2
BAER RACING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
PRODUCTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30-31, 58-59
DAKOTA DIGITAL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
DIAMOND PISTONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
EBC BRAKES USA INC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
FITECH FUEL INJECTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
G EAR VENDORS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
HOLLEY PERFORMANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
LEGENDARY AUTO INTERIORS . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Perform a B u i lt
MUSCLE RODS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
ORIGINAL PARTS GROUP INC . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
PAINLESS PERFORMANCE PARTS . . . . . . . . . 8 At PerformaBuilt Transmissions our
PERFORMABUILT TRANSMISSIONS . . . . . . 73 goal is to engineer and build the
PERFORMANCE ONLINE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
toughest transmissions on the planet.
TECHN OLOGY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 We don't just rebuild transmissions.
PERTRONIX INC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CV4 We systematically re-engineer each
PROCHARGER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 model to eliminate O E M flaws and to
OA1 PRECISION PRODUCTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 achieve the highest levels of performance. That is why we say our
ROADSTER SHOP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 transmisssions are " N ot just built. . . . . They're PerformaBuilt".
SCAT ENTERPRISES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 All our transmissions include: no core charge, Free shipping and a
SUMMIT RACING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CV3 warranty up to 2-years.
TOROSTORM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

The Advertiser Index is provided as a service to Chevy

1 -888-7 44-6542
High Performance magazine readers. CHP is not respon­ s h
sible for typographic errors in names or page numbers.
T P A N S M I S S I O N S email:
70!" We whine down the straight with From the reaction of the motoring After all that, the van became the
the turbine howling at our backs. public out there in the middle of the day, main cover image. I'd had an unusual
Because the M 1 has such a large we might have been running down the yellow long sleeve shirt. Dianna liked it
frontal area, it tends to reduce the air road covered in blood. A lot of mean so much he said I should wear it for the
blast to your face to about half what faces charted our progress. We got shoot. I did.
it would be if you stuck your head out the single-digit salute from snarling,
a car window. I'll tell you, son, there's disconcerted drivers and passengers, PORSCHE CONVERTIBLE
nothing like it. The sun in your face, lots of them. I think that if they could FUBAR
the wind in your hair, and bullets up have spit in our face, they would have. I'd cultivated a friendship with the
your nose. That's how I'll remember the Countach. folks at Porsche-Audi and Volkswagen
in Englewood, New Jersey. On a trip
LA MBORGHINI LP400 S HOT ROD'S BFG VAN out west, someone asked would I drive
COUNTACH Dave Kent's Creative Car Craft in a 9 1 1 convertible they had in Culver
This car was designed by Marcello Hawthorne, California, was tapped City back east. My crepe soles were
Gandini at Bertone studios and built to build the BFG giveaway Chevy. worn out, so I said yes. I had plans to
in limited numbers at the Santa'Agata Freakin' vans had come to the stop off in Rapid City [South Dakota]
works northeast of Rome. The late- forefront, easy and sleazy. To metal to do a story for Motor Trend. I'd also
70s were the era of "gray market" wizard Kent it was a clean sheet ready be able to wail the crap outta the car
cars. At MT, I'd tested a federalized to be violated and he did, right down on black ribbons I'd never driven, long
LP400 that adapted emissions controls to the swoopy clamshell side-door roads with nobody on them and I liked
as well as railroad-tie sized bumpers treatment. This stuff was child's that idea, too.
that completely destroyed its silhouette play for someone who routinely built There were only two such ragtops
and its sublime shape. You know that beautiful vehicles from scratch, and in the States at that time, one red, the
word abomination? That's what the Kent liked to work straight through, other white. I drove the white one back
legal Lamborghini looked like. if you know what I mean. Sleep to my friend's house where I'd been
Badly executed modifications apparently wasn't an issue so a visit staying on Van Ness Avenue-a wide­
notwithstanding, the pod settled to CCC usually promised a chaotic open thoroughfare. I dumped it by the
very close to the ground, the roofline episode. curb right in front of his house. It was
about waist level. Beyond the flip-up This isn't really about the van at late afternoon by then and we settled
guillotine-blade doors, you felt like all; it's about driving it back to West into a beer or two, maybe a twist to
you were sitting in a hole; rearward Hollywood without a seat to sit in. In puff on, and jacked our jaws.
vision was chronically reduced to a fact, there wasn't anything else inside A l ittle while later, we heard the
slit that masqueraded as a backlight the thing, nary a safety belt. Luckily, unmistakable clash of metal on metal.
and where a claustrophobic might the steering wheel was still bolted to I cringed, "Yeah somebody musta
be reduced to shaking and tears. But the column. I scrounged a piece of run into the Porsche." Somebody
the 48-valve V-12 really made up for plastic - a milk crate- I think it was. had. Sure, he tried to drive off but his
that, responded like a thoroughbred, Standing it on end, the crate put me beater was gushing water. He made it
seemingly boundless; it pulled very approximately at the usual driving about 30 feet, thought better of it and
hard through the gears, which kind of position, which was fine, but there was looked at us like we were gonna tune
made up for not being able to see out nothing to anchor it to the slippery, him up. After a while, there was some
of it. In this car, forget what's behind naked metal. So I'd be tiptoeing all the joking and a little laughing. The rest
because it won't be gaining on you. way home. of it I don't remember ... if the cops
Years later, my second exposure I couldn't even risk legal speed so came, how the guy got out of there,
to the Countach was in Detroit. the 405 was out. I'd be fretting up nothing.
(fhe appellate was derived from a La Cienega Boulevard all the way to When I apprised the Porsche
colloquialism pulled deeply from the Sunset at minimum velocity. I soon people of the incident, they didn't go
diaphragm- countacchha-almost like discovered that the facilitators would apoplectic. To them, it was just another
a curse.) My host and seatmate was the be a death grip on the steering wheel day in the PR biz. The next morning, I
laconic Dan Mancini, one of the original on one end and clenched butt cheeks got in the white convertible and drove
Ramchargers. [Chrysler had annexed on the other. For a fleeting moment, I it to Culver City. Drove it. I dropped in
the floundering Italian in the mid-'80s.] could see the lawsuits. the red head and headed east.
You also have to remember that in Once you cross Santa Monica, the
those days there was virulent sentiment last quarter-mile to Sunset is about
Ro McGonegal began in this business back
for anything that wasn't built under a 30-degree incline with a traffic light
in 1968. He's been editor of Car Craft, Hot
American auspice. After an all-American at the terminus. I'd seen clutches get
Rod, and Chevy High Performance. He's
breakfast of eggs and sausage, we smoked. I'd seen a cement truck split a wealth of old-school knowledge and his
struck out for the high road and limited its gearbox, coating the grade in stuff so stories from "back in the day" are epic.
the driving impression to the interstate. slippery the cops had to shut it down.
. . .
. · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · � · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · � · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · � · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·

CHEVY HIGH PERFORMANCE (ISSN: 1 062-1 92X), January 2020; Vol. 35, No. 0 1 . Copyright 2019 by TEN: Publishing Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Published monthly by TEN: Publishing
Media, LLC, 275 Madison Avenue, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10016. Periodicals Postage Paid at New York, NY and at additional mailing offices. Subscription rates for one year ( 1 2 issues)
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